Developmental exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to bisphenol-S impairs subsequent reproduction potential and hormonal balance in adults

Aquat Toxicol. 2014 Mar:148:195-203. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.01.009. Epub 2014 Jan 21.


In the recent years, there has been a growing concern about the production and use of bisphenol-A substitute, namely bisphenol-S (BPS). Due to its novel nature, there have been few studies addressing the ability of BPS to disrupt the endocrine system of animals. In the present study, zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos were exposed to and reared in various concentrations of BPS (0, 0.1, 1, 10 and 100 μg/l) for 75 days. Then adult males and females were paired in spawning tanks for 7 days in clean water and the consequent effects on fish development, reproduction, plasma vitellogenin (VTG), sex steroids and thyroid hormone levels were investigated as endpoints. After 75 days of exposure, there was a skewed sex ratio in favor of females. The results also showed that body length and weight significantly decreased in males exposed to 100 μg/l of BPS. Gonadosomatic index was significantly reduced in fish at ≥ 10 μg/l. Hepatosomatic index exhibited a significant increase in both male and female fish. At ≥ 1 μg/l of BPS, plasma 17β-estradiol levels were significantly increased in both males and females. However, plasma testosterone showed a significant reduction in males exposed to 10 and 100 μg/l of BPS. A significant induction in plasma VTG level was observed in both males and females at ≥ 10 μg/l of BPS. Plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine levels were significantly decreased at 10 and 100 μg/l of BPS in males, and at 100 μg/l in females. Egg production and sperm count were also significantly decreased in groups received 10 and 100 μg/l of BPS. Moreover, once time to hatching and hatching rates were calculated for fertilized eggs the postponed and decreased rates of hatching were observed. Taken together, these results suggest that developmental exposure to low concentrations of BPS has adverse effects on different parts of the endocrine system in zebrafish.

Keywords: Bisphenol-S; Reproduction; Sex steroid; Thyroid hormone; Vitellogenin; Zebrafish (Danio rerio).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocrine System / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Gonads / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Male
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Sex Ratio
  • Sulfones / toxicity*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thyroid Gland / drug effects
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood
  • Vitellogenins / blood
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*
  • Zebrafish / physiology*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Phenols
  • Sulfones
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Vitellogenins
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)sulfone